“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey

It can be so daunting venturing into the professional world without guidance. Personal branding is also an important factor in building your selling point. Whether sport, the corporate or creative fields, having a mentor would be ideal in boosting your potential and reaching the heights you want to achieve. So, what of mentorship, and what are the direct benefits of having a mentor in this day and age where personal branding is so key?

  1. Understanding your field through their experiences

    When seeking a mentor, it makes sense to find someone in your field who will coach you to becoming fulfilled. Maybe a brand, a job title, or a career within a realm you want to replicate, would inspire you to reach out and ask for mentorship as you want to emulate such a career path and brand style. If that is the case, you’d be able to get an idea of how to exist in such a space, gain insight into a specific field, and gain prior knowledge to give you a leg up. You’d also learn how to position yourself in order to make progress with what you want to achieve.
  2. Skill Development

    Developing a skill is all about experience, time, and application. We all know that affirmation, work smarter and not harder. Having a mentor would allow you to work with the smarts of someone who came before you. A mentor can help you identify the areas you need to strengthen, highlighting the skills you need to become better positioned for your ambitions.
  3. Instilling Confidence

    A mentor’s relationship with a mentee is to inject confidence. It allows the mentee to understand their fluctuating emotions and viewpoints from experience that a mentor has gained to learn how to develop confidence in building their personal brand or business. Being able to contrast situations and positions makes a mentee's endeavours that much more realistic. It can also add another perspective. A mentor does not have to be one from the same field, but a person able to put life into that much more perspective. For example, Tiger Woods was mentored as a star golfer by his Father, a man who never picked up the sport. Though he taught Tiger how to live, how to assess life mentally, how to dedicate his time and position himself to become one of the greatest of all time.
  4. Helps develop Leadership qualities

    In a Forbes study, 80% of CEOs said they have had mentors in their career. Mentors have built them up to being worthy of such a position. The keyword here is mentors, as over their lifetime CEOs have been inspired by a variety of different people from different walks of life. Solely having one mentor who will change the entirety of your life and allow you to reach some amazing heights is a pipedream. However, allowing yourself to be inspired and coached by many mentors will give you a leg up in becoming a leader. You will learn how to manage people, clients, and organise your business. You will learn how to make decisions. You will learn how to take the lead and make hard decisions.\
  5. Allows vulnerability 

    Having a mentor demands a sense of vulnerability. Although it may not be everyone’s ideal way of being, and vulnerability may be absent elsewhere, being able to offload your challenges with a mentor allows the challenge to be tackled together. You shouldn’t hide information from your mentor to appear tougher or more able, that defeats the purpose of the relationship. Great lessons can be learned from adversity more than making a show of your greatness, as the collective mission is to instil that within you no matter what. The vulnerability will help you address fears with your branding and business ideals earlier rather than later.
  6. Enables a clearer idea of goals and your path

    When you have a mentor they can help you to organise your goals. By committing to a mentoring relationship, not only are you building rapport and being more organised with your thoughts and time, but you build a clearer sense of self and ambition. While a mentor is rooting for you and giving you the keys to your greater self, they can also give tips for goal setting, identify routes to take for your path, and help you get a concrete idea of your future. A mentor can provide organisational hacks and facts you may never have considered. They also become someone to hold yourself accountable to.
  7. Becoming constructive and optimistic

    Although you shouldn’t feel towering pressure, the respect of a mentoring relationship can make you much more constructive, goal-driven, and optimistic. You know what you need to do to get where you want to be, and mentoring alongside your passion can only make you that much more effective in daily life. Having someone who has accomplished what you want to achieve in your corner is a great grounding for growing.
  8. Instilling a passion for your cause

    Many mentors and mentees share a passion for a similar thing. For example, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, befriending each other as mentor and mentee, discussing the development of Facebook and Entrepreneurship. Maya Angelou mentoring Oprah Winfrey, guiding her through the most important years of her life. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, Gates turning to Buffett’s one-of-a-kind advice. They essentially followed the format of their mentors in becoming as great as them in their own way. Similarly, with a mentor we can recognise what it takes to become great within our cause. If there is a cause you want to commit to, find someone who has a similar passion, background and pursue that relationship to be inspired as they were.
  9. Broadens your horizons

    In that same Forbes article that discussed CEOs and their mentors, the writer discussed how we do not need mentor relationships as much as we did before. Mentorship does not have to be direct and person to person, a figure could be your source of inspiration as well as the wealth of information we have. With the resources available to us by technology, the news, social media and such, we can be inspired by the people and companies we read about to trigger us to act.

    For instance, some may use interviews, articles, books and writings to be inspired. Nipsey Hussle with his lyricism, entrepreneurial and community endeavours has been a mentor for me. Tony Robinson mentors many through his inspiring talks. Cristiano Ronaldo and his sporting work ethic inspires. Mentors can exist close to home or work for the causes you care for. A social commentator you appreciate, a willing and vocal professional or simply someone working on something you are inspired by. 
  10. New skill development 

    Lastly, through being mentored you will learn how to become a mentor yourself. After experiences with a mentor, or many mentors, utilising the resources we have available to us, plus drawing from our own experiences – we can positively mentor others. It also helps to generally mentor those in positions you used to be in. For example, mentoring a new recruit at work is a valuable mentoring experience, plus you are able to help another person. Or student to student mentorship. At the end of the day, the aim of mentorship is to become greater, learn from other people and positively impact and grow our networks. 

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